Searching for ways to speed WordPress load times reveals plenty of articles explaining why you need to switch web hosting providers. By all means switch if you can prove that your hosting company is the problem. Just do not be so fast to assume they are the problem. More often than not, slow page load times are not the fault of web hosting companies at all.
Slow load times are almost always the result of factors directly relating to the WordPress site in question. In other words, there are one or more factors relating to the size and structure of the site that are creating load time problems. Just to prove the point, we have listed below three non-host reasons your WordPress site might be excruciatingly slow. Solve these three problems and you will probably see your site’s speed increase noticeably.
1. Excessive Use of Plugins
One of the things that makes WordPress so awesome as a content management system is the vast library of plugins that add functionality to what is otherwise a blogging platform. Simply put, plugins are great because they make it easy to add function without having to know how to code. But plugins have an inherent weakness: they have to be run as separate code alongside your WordPress site.
Using plugins to an excessive degree is guaranteed to slow down load times. Remember that every plugin you use has to be loaded and executed each time a page is loaded. The more plugins employed, the slower your load times will be. Speed up your site by getting rid of those plugins you do not really need.
2. Large Image Files
Perhaps the biggest offenders in the slow load times arena are large image files. If your site is slow, we encourage you to step back and think about your images for a minute. Where do most of your images come from? Do you use photos taken on your smartphone? Do you download graphics and photos from public domain sites?
The average size of a smartphone photo is measured in megabytes rather than kilobytes. Try reducing that 1920 x 1080 image down to 1024 x 576 and see what happens. And by the way, don’t just reduce the display size of the image using the options in WordPress. Reduce the actual size of the image before you upload it. When image file sizes are in kilobytes rather than megabytes, your pages will load faster.
3. Excessive External Scripts
Lastly, scripts hosted on external websites can do as much harm to load times as excessive plugins. Common examples of external scripts include embedded YouTube code, buttons for sharing on social media, live chat plugins, analytics plugins, and the like.
Every time you choose to use an external script, you are requiring visitor browsers to contact those external websites while loading your pages. If they happen to be slow for any reason, they will likewise slow down your site’s load time.